Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) is a Government initiative designed to encourage people to take out hospital insurance earlier in life and to maintain their cover.
If you do not have hospital cover prior to the 1st of JULY, following your 31st birthday, you will pay a 2% loading on top of your premium for every year you are aged over 30.
For example, if you take out hospital cover at age 40 you will pay 20% more than someone who first took out hospital cover at age 30. The maximum loading is 70%. The LHC loading stays on on your Private Hospital Insurance for 10 continuous years.
You will then remain at 0% loading as long as you retain your hospital cover; or, if you cancel your cover after the loading is removed, as long as you do not exceed 1094 days without Private Hospital.
Couples and family policies loading is calculated as an average of the individual loading of the two adults.
For example, if one person has 20% loading and the other person has 0% loading, the loading applied to the couples’ policy is 10%.
General treatment (extras) cover, Overseas Visitors Health Cover, Overseas Student Health Cover, and international forms of insurance are not considered to be hospital cover for Lifetime Health Cover purposes.
WORKING OUT YOUR LHC LOADING…
If you are transferring or joining as a new member, you may need to supply supporting documents to the health fund to have the correct loading applied. You may need to obtain one or more of the following:
1. Clearance Certificate – If you are transferring between private health funds or re-joining private health insurance after a period of absence, you should obtain a Clearance Certificate from your previous health fund.
2. Medicare registration date letter – If you are a new migrant to Australia aged over 31, then you have 1 year from the date of your Medicare registration for a blue or green Medicare card to purchase hospital cover without a loading.
3. International Movement Record – Immigration Movement Record (Form 1359)
You may need this document if:
- You were overseas on the 1 July following your 31st birthday, and you intend to purchase or have purchased private hospital cover within 1 year of your return:
- You were aged over 31 and overseas on 1 July 2000, and you intend to purchase or have purchased private hospital cover at any time after your return;
- You cancelled your hospital cover after the age of 31 and after 1 July 2000, and then went overseas for a period of at least 12 months, and you now intend to purchase or have purchased private hospital cover at any time after your return (in this case, you should also obtain a Clearance Certificate).
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